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Piepowder - Five


GRP (sandwich)     
pocket cruiser, round bilge marconi cutter, flushdeck, traditional. papersheet plans 

shipping cost included; delivery 1-20 days
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GRP minimum cruising cutter

Every man has his own ideas about his perfect yacht. The boat of one man's dreams is that of nightmares to another.

The young guy who commissioned this design was set on sailing to faraway places in a minimum boat, what could be termed a "vest pocket cruiser". She was to be named "PIEPOWDER", an old English word derived from the French for "dusty feet" and meaning wanderer.

His father diverted him into the suit and tie world before his dreams became a reality.

I wonder if he will ever realise those dreams.



The Pocket Cruiser is becoming increasingly popular, a small boat for bluewater  sailing. For many "penniless dreamers" then, a nutshell like this represents a real opportunity to put their aspirations into practice.

In fact, the Five (Piepowder in the original name of Dudley Dix's project), despite its minute dimensions, is designed as a serious offshore cruiser. It was designed for those who want to make long trips with a minimal boat, even in the ocean, while retaining an acceptable interior space, good performance and a pleasant aesthetic, perhaps a little Old Style ...
The Five has large load capacities while maintaining good daily averages for such a small boat. It is also extremely safe in all conditions, being unsinkable and self-righting.

Below it has quarter berths for navigation and a large double berth in the bow for use in the harbor. The quarter berths offer a comfortable seat in the cabin, both for work and relaxing. There is room for   small  talble and cardan stove and lockers on both sides. Two large tanks under the bow berth ensure a sufficient supply of water for long voyages.



Her rig is cutter with single spreaders. The genoa is on the bowsprit and the staysail on the foredeck. In bad weather she would be sailed as a sloop using the staysail and reefed main.

Her raised sheer/flush deck configuration gives a large and clear foredeck. The cockpit well is small, drains through the transom and has liferaft stowage under the aft deck. Forward of the well is a broad bridge deck which forms a lounging area.

For those wanting to sail in protected waters, the tankage can be omitted and a portable head built in under the aft end of the double berth. A curtain forward of the galley would provide privacy, making her a comfortable camp cruiser for a small family.



She is designed for cored GRP construction (Airex, Termanto, Corecell...) polyester or vinylester resin and fiberglass, with female mold on frames and currents. Not a simple but certainly possible and sustainable construction for a good home builder who wants to experience these materials

some stages of sandwich construction:


the hull could also be built in strip planking, with appropriate modifications to the design, with SP Systems 106 multipurpose epoxy resin, first quality red cedar or fir strips and e-glass reinforcement fabrics. On request we can supply the modifications to the project as optional

Foam bouyancy is distributed throughout  the hull so that, even if holed when fully laden for cruising, she can only sink about 300mm below her designed waterline. She has 350kg of bolt-on lead ballast low down with a fin keel/skeg rudder configuration and a raised sheer. 


The result is full self-righting capability with positive stability to 150 degrees.


Who want to make simple coastal navigation can give up their large tanks in favor of some extra comfort, with a toilet and lockers under the double berth, transforming the Five into a small but comfortable vessel for the weekend and for short cruises below the coast of summer holidays.

With its small size and low dry weight (about 600 kg) the Five can be  easily put on a trailer even by small-displacement cars, with minimal management costs in road transfers. 
sailing on Piepowder:



LOD - 5.05m (16'7") 
LWL 4.80m (15'9") 
Beam1.95m (6'5") 
Draft 0.90m (2'11")
Displ 1060kg (2336lb) 
Ballast 350kg (771lb) 

Sail Area (Main + Fore-triangle) 14.06sq.m (151sq.ft)
Sail Area/displ 13.7 
Sail Area/wetted surface 1.74

Area Waterplane 5.16sq.m (56sq.ft) 
Immersion Rate 53kg/cm (297lb/inch)
Fineness Coef 0.66 
Block Coef 0.39 
Prismatic Coef 0.52 
Displacement/length 271 

Righting moment @ 30 deg 341kgm (
Righting moment @ 60deg 539kgm ( 
Righting moment @ 90deg 448kgm (3240ftlb)


 Five is a very simple boat, with a few simple designs for sandwich construction.
There are no study plans




Drawing #     Drawing Description

1                     Sail Plan
2                     Accommodation
3                     Lines & Offsets
4                     Sections
5                     Keel, rudder, skeg & layup details
SD1               Sliding hatch details
SD2              Hinged hatch details
SD23           Setting out deck cambers
Standard Specification for GRP boats

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